Tired of being tired?

Five simple things (June 29)


What a great week of weather here in the Valley. We had a small bout of rain on Wednesday and after that it's been sunny and in the 70s the rest of the week. Before Wednesday we had some warmer temperatures, but overall it's been a good week. We attended a wonderful celebration of life on Tuesday at Willamette National Cemetery for a woman that has been a great aspect in our lives and countless others. Our friend in Washington said goodbye to her mother along side her dad, brother, and many other family members and friends. We love them so much and we were glad of the chance to say goodbye to Laura Leggett and tell her how much she changed our lives and The Bean's life. She will be put to rest at one of the state's most beautiful places. Our friend, MacKenzie, had a gathering at Fort Vancouver in the Red Cross building to celebrate her mom's legacy and how much she changed everyone just by her presence. She was a wonderful person and the world has lost one of the good ones. She will be extremely missed by us and many other people that had the luck of meeting such an incredible woman. We were the lucky ones! (You can make a donation to the "Memorial and Honor Giving" through the American Cancer Society in her honor here, or anyone else's honor that has lost their battle to cancer.)

Here are five simple things that made my week.

1. This stainless steel mug...

In our shift to move away from plastics we have given these stainless steel mugs a shot and they are perfect for what we use them for. A small coffee, or a hot tea, they are perfect.

2. This soap...

Again, not too crazy about the plastic packaging, but this coconut derived soap has been a game-changer for us here.

3. This impromptu State Capital view...

Driving through Salem last week we drove right in front of the State Capital building. Always a lovely sight.

4. These canning jars...

Looking forward to canning up some of our summer harvest and these will be just perfect for that endeavor. 

5. This Might Nest Fix for June...

Perfect timing because we actually broke our longtime-used silicone spatula a few days prior. Haven't tried Might Nest yet? What are you waiting for, sign up here.

Have a nice weekend!

Five simple things


This week as been a week, that's for sure. All week we've been selling off a lot of our belongings to downsize and get rid of things we don't use. It's amazing how many things we purchased thinking that we need these things. So much money spent on things that weren't even worth the purchase in the end. Good news is, that we are able to get some of the money back on a lot of it, but not what we paid for them, which is unfortunate. We've spent close to $12,000 on these items and so far have made about $400 on them. At least we can say that we have changed the way we spend now.

Along with selling a lot of items this week we also spent last weekend and this week looking at four different school buses for our conversion. We looked first at a flat nose shorty in Eugene. The man selling it had done some modifications to the inside with a wood stove, two beds, and a sink. The man took us for a test drive and it was great! Unfortunately, this shorty wasn't large enough for all three of us. The man selling the bus gave us a lot of useful information, too. We moved on from Eugene and headed up to Clackmas and checked out another flat nose Blue Bird that was perfect, but needed a few dents removed and a few other flaws here and there. We all loved the flat nose Blue Bird, but there was a few red flags that did concern us in the end-personal preferences-nothing major. There was also a dog nose in Roseburg that we were interested in and another dog nose in Spray, Oregon. All in all what we came to the conclusion that we haven't found "the one" yet. So our search continues, but after taking this time to look at these buses it gave us a definite starting place and what we actually want and don't want, so that's a plus! With that here are "Five simple things" that made this week good.

1. These dental floss...

It's silk dental floss and comes in a reusable glass container. We've been looking for a more sustainable floss and one that helps with our goal of going more zero waste. 

2. This golf moment...


Last Sunday on Father's Day we headed out with The Mr. to the golf course to smack a few golf balls around. Needless to say, The Mr. and The Bean got pretty competitive and were really giving it their all. The Mr. had a great time and he said it was a Father's Day well spent!

3. This last box...

I tried out the Fab Fit Fun box for a year and this box was the last of my year subscription. I have to say, if we weren't on the uphill climb to being more minimal this is definitely a subscription box worth keeping. All of their products are amazing!

4. These lip scrubs...

Not too crazy about the plastic packaging, but these lip scrubs are amazing and make my lips feel great each time I use them. Best part is, they are certified organic from the Oregon Tilth and Fair Trade, which makes them even better! They are from Eco Lips and you can view all of their products here.

5. This compost bin...

We were in need of something more practical for keeping our compost in check in the kitchen. The paper bag filled and stuffed into our freezer wasn't working, mainly because we have a small refrigerator with limited freezer space. This compost bin is metal and the lid seals on top to keep everything secure inside without leaking any juice or smell out before we can dispose of it in our compost bin outside. The wooden handle makes it easy to carry in and out of the house, too. We keep it near our sink and it reminds us to toss in compostable items before tossing them in the trash. The one here is sold out, but here is one similar.

A few more things:

How to celebrate World Environment Day all year.

The Environmental Magazine.

Top 10 green apps.

Green tips.

• 19 Tips That Can Save Hundreds by Going Green.

Green Fuel Online.

• 11 Ways to Go Green Without Blowing Your Budget.

• 10 Ways to Go Green and Save Green.

Latest sustainability news and green living tips from The Oregonian.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Five simple things


Well, last week was a crazy week. I didn't post "Five simple things" last Friday because I was beat. Starting on Thursday of last week I helped with a large yard sale and had a few of our large items in the mix. By Sunday evening all of us were pretty beat. Monday morning rolled around quite quickly, but given a slower week we were able to catch up. This weekend we are planning to meet someone in Eugene this evening to sell him some of The Mr.'s Lego collections from the 80s. We have been slowly selling more and more things that we don't use on a regular basis, including The Beans and The Mr. 8x4 foot train layout. It feels great to be able to look around and a room and see a lot of things gone that were just taking up space. We have a lot more things to sell, but we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It's sad to think, all of that stuff used to be money, at one time. We now buy with intention. We don't give into consumerism and "tricked" into items that are just money eaters or trends. It's unfortunate that we are made to feel guilty if we do not follow trends that others are following, or don't buy something someone else finds interesting/neat/cool/fun. Slowly we are coming out of the zombie-like state and not being afraid to say, "NO" to these pressures. With that thought we are headed up to Vancouver, Washington, on Saturday to check out a Thomas, flat nose, school bus. We are hoping it is what we are looking for and helps us get closer toward our three-year goals-(more on this later). For now, here are "Five simple things" that made this week good.

1. These green berries and these tiny sprouts...

Our garden is slowly showing signs of life under ground. These tiny plants are making their way into the world and we will soon be able to enjoy the bounty.

2. The "girls"...

Always together and always following Happy's lead.

3. These subscription boxes from Yogi Surprise...

Always giving props to Yogi Surprise. This month's boxes are so wonderful and I love everything about the Lifestyle box. Unfortunately, this is the last month for the Jewelry box for me. My subscription for it came to a close this month, but that's okay! I have received a ton of great products through the Jewelry box and I am so pleased with everything that I've been given. I will continue to receive the Lifestyle box and share here on my blog what's in each and every one of them. Although the Jewelry box ended for me, you can still grab one for yourself and get on July's mailing list here.
Get a $10 credit towards your first box with code: REFHH4J2K9RGY 

And I can't go without mentioning the new Yogi Surprise - (The First Ever) Men's Yoga Box. This thing is amazing and geared straight toward men. That singing bowl is the best! But the best part really with this box is the fact that right now, for Father's Day, you can grab this box and get 25% Off Your First Yogi Surprise Box With Code JUNE25. Hurry though, this 25% off ends on June 26!

4. These donated bicycles...

We donated two of our non-used bicycles and a bike frame this week as part of the First Alternative Co-op's partnership with Alaffia. 
Alaffia, a Washington-based fair trade body care company that uses indigenous African resources, will send the bikes to students in Togo. According to UNICEF, 90 percent of girls and 80 percent of boys in Togo drop out of school before secondary education. -source 
These bicycles will be restored, fixed, or refurbished to send to Togo, West Africa, and help students in their pursuit in a quality education and a promising future.


5. Recap of last week's "Five simple things"...

• The Strawberry Festival:

On Sunday, June 3, we headed out to the Strawberry Festival here in the Valley. It's always the first full weekend in June and it's entirely in celebration of the strawberry coming into season. The three of us have been enjoying the celebration as a family for over 10 years and this year was no different.


• These oyster shells...

We found a great addition to our duck's diet with these all natural oyster shells. We found these last week while at an organic garden store in Corvallis. We are hoping these will be a better alternative for them over the mass produced oyster shells on the market.

• Our house at night...

Last weekend The Bean happened to go outside and notice how pretty our house looked when it got dark. He took a picture of it and came in to tell us how wonderful it looked in the dark. And we agree!

A few more things:

Have a nice weekend!

Five simple things


June 1! Unfathomable! Summer weather is slowly creeping its way into the Valley. We've had a great week and today marks 109 years of celebrating the strawberry here in Lebanon, Oregon. Each year, on the first full weekend of June, this town celebrates the coming of the strawberries. Anything and everything strawberry is celebrated here and it's a good time to share a few past posts of strawberry recipes and past blog posts of the Strawberry Festival. As The Bean gets older we find ourselves doing other things that take us away from the festival more and more. This year we will go, ride a few of our favorite rides, then come back home and enjoy our own space. The Strawberry Festival brings out a great number of people from around the entire Willamette Valley. One of the things the coming of the Strawberry Festival does is remind us that the strawberries will soon be ripe and that brings about many more ways to enjoy the juicy, red, berries each year. Lots of new ideas and meals revolving around the strawberry. I've had my eye on making a strawberry chocolate chip cookie....We'll see what I can come up with. Here are five simple things that made this week wonderful.

1. This travel picture...

This picture of Crater Lake was entered in the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year. I am thrilled to be part of something so wonderful and even more thrilled that my work was considered among other great photographers. You can view the picture here on the site.

2. This little tree...

This sweet, little, Pine tree was growing among a lot of dead trees. I took a picture of it because it always fascinates me how nature recovers, even after something like a forest fire. Mother Nature's healing comes in many ways.

3. Memorial Day...

I love hanging and displaying the United States flag on our house. I just love how the colors look against the side of a house and on our fence. Memorial Day and July Fourth always give me a reason to break out the flags and hang them for all to see and show our support and appreciation for those that gave us what we have.

4. Crimson Clover...

Looking forward to these little baby sprouts to turn into beautiful Crimson Clover along the fence line. Can't wait for all of the little flying pollinators to visit them and take what they need.

5. This lotion...

The Might Nest Mighty Fix for May was lavender body lotion from All Good. This lotion smells amazing! I didn't add anything else to my "Fix" this month, but I have to say, this lotion is half gone already because it smells and feels that great! Grab Might Fix for the month of June here.

A few more things:

Do you remember her?

Maybe a good use of plastic bags?

For kiddos learning to read.

• The Bean always wanted this bed.

DIY: Natural bug repellent.

DIY: Working with Beeswax.

Makes Me Think. Stories of discrimination. 

DIY: Crafts board.

Free yoga classes online.

DIY: Moisturizing body lotions.

One more thing:

-We got quite the scare here in the Willamette Valley this week. A Civil Emergency sent out over the cell phones warned of a “Civil Emergency in this area. Prepare for action.” We were with everyone else around us and wondered what it was and if we needed to indeed do something...
Needless to say, the emergency was to warn residents in Salem, Oregon, of the water condition having low levels of cyanotoxins caused by algae blooms in their water supply. Although, we do not drink the tap water in our city, this is quite alarming being as close as we are to the city of Salem. Not sure what the solution is for that area, but hopefully another warning won't go out to alarm everyone in the Valley. Read more here.

Have a nice weekend.